Text by Le Cruz
It is the long, rigorous, self reflective pilgrimage for a religious person; the rush in every musician’s gig performance; It is an artist’ act of impulsively creating an artwork, the state in between obligation and boredom, the primal instincts of doing what you do best, because it is in you – it is who you are. Bjorn Calleja’s There Is No Solution Because There Is No Problem, is an invitation to his personal space, to his daily musings outside the familiarity of his character based artworks, into none-serial works that call out a mutiny against the pervading system of gallery solo shows. It is his bold move of exposing his frailties, his uncompromising and unapologetic artistic gestures to his viewers.
Bjorn Calleja’s new works directs us into an artist’s studio space, the ground zero of art process, surrounded by objects and tools that serve as silent witnesses to an artist’s production stage. Here lies his “Tired Painting,” laid diagonally to the wall, waited to be hung until it rests itself at a 45º angle. On one side are his wooden and plastic painting palettes repurposed as repositories for dried oil paint evolving into mini landscapes. Behind his stretchers and canvases is a crumpled, stained and abused used canvas dignified as a “Chosen Reject.” Near his drawing board and easel are written and painted texts reminding us of fleeting ideas summed up by mere letters or onomatopoeic words. Finally are the haunting white walls with all its ambiguity and all the taunting painter’s tools on the floor retorting a forceful I WILL START PAINTING TOMORROW.
There Is No Solution Because There Is No Problem is a nod to Marcel Duchamp’s Cupid where he posed a chess endgame problem, complete with instructions and four remaining chess pieces for each player to move, only to lead each possible result to a draw that implicitly demonstrates a problem without a solution. Although Duchamp’s proposition correlates to both chess and life, Calleja, like a chess enthusiast attempting to solve the problem rather in an artistic manner, formulates his strategy manifested through unserialized works, presented in multiple formats but unified by a single thought and driven by the irony and ambiguity of the challenge.
Consider Calleja’s video installation, Under The Influence Of Gravity, of light in transit reminiscent of a train ride as it passes through a tunnel as a coda to his exploration. Its vertical orientation situates us into an eternal fall of bottomless abyss but at the same time the unsettling movement leaves us with an afterimage of serendipity. Here, Bjorn Calleja focuses on the movement, the natural essence of a mechanism to move based on its design and through it we get a glimpse of an artist’s process take its course towards unending pursuit of investigating, questioning and creating – within that artistic void.